Tired as he was, Sebastian did not sleep. His body, still unused to its recent limitations was pushed beyond exhaustion but Sebastian’s mind would not rest. He lay on the thin mattress of the sofa bed, staring up the flat dark ceiling of Frieda’s apartment. How often he had casually entered a building in his life as Inbetweener and not noticed the menacing limits of four walls and ceiling. The ceiling reminding him of everything he had given up. How we could no longer see or even feel the watchful eyes of his kindred family who surely remained up there, perhaps even now looking down, anxious to help, to intervene. But there would be no intervention, he knew. This was the path he had chosen and he would walk it through to its conclusion.
How, exactly, would this end? He would go to Lana in the morning, reveal himself to her and supplicate himself to her in hopes that she might accept him and relieve, just a little, the crushing weight of the curse he willing took on himself.
Or she would turn her face, avert her gaze. He had never considered the possibility that it might be so. But now, feeling forlorn and lost, so close to Lana on earth but still so impossibly far, he knew it might well be so. And this was the burning curse of the love lost. This burning ache of uncertainty and doubt. The troubles of the flesh were one thing. This weight of the spirit was almost more than he could bear.
Frieda’s apartment was clean but cluttered, small in the way that was not quite efficient. He listened as she snored softly in the other room. He was grateful for the kindness she had shown him. It was a type of miracle in itself, this gift the mortal kind called friendship. And he felt at once the unevenness in their friendship. And he wanted to do something, some kind gesture of reciprocated friendship to let Frieda know that she was now a part of what he understood it meant to be human.
Sebastian got out of bed.
Sebastian had watched the night gather up its shadows and now he watched the meagre, gray gruel of dawn seep back into the world. He had watched so many thousand days and nights from his high, holy perch of his former home that the act had become mundane, the humdrum traffic of orbs of dirt and gas spinning and spiraling like dancers in an impeccably choreographed waltz. And how incredibly earthbound he felt now, watching the sunrise from the confines of Freida’s efficiency apartment. The dull light spread across the dirty cityscape, illuminating buildings, their bones of brick, concrete and glass.
He was no longer the sort of creature that found the day. Now, the day found him.
When the sun had fully emerged and broke open the morning, Sebastian got out of bed. It still surprised him how sore and heavy his body felt. The wreck from yesterday was still punishing him. He stretched, wincing at the soreness of his tight, battered joints. It was a chore, getting out of bed but he had won this body at a hard price and he was determined to make it work for him rather than against him.
Frieda was still sleeping. It was no matter. He did not want to wake her. He would make this last part of his voyage on his own. It was time.
Sebastian foraged around for a piece of paper. Wrote a note that was short, sweet yet said everything it needed to say: Thank you. We will bless your name.
He pulled on the jacket, opened the door and crept out as quietly as he could. Destiny could no longer be delayed.